Nice Buns! Special edition- The Habit Original Charburger

A juicy first bite, a crunchy bun and enticing flavors are just three amazing features of The Habit’s Original Charburger, something I can’t recommend enough.

For the nine minutes between ordering, to my order being up, I anxiously waited for the first bite and the consequential wonderful sensation forcing my tastebuds to have a party. It simply is one of the greatest burgers you can order for under ten dollars.

Let’s start from the top: a crunchy, beautiful sesame bun with a perfect sesame-to-bread ratio bringing the burger together. Inside, the burger is packed and rarely has lettuce or any other item fall out of it which is impressive to find in such a quickly made burger, but is much appreciated.

I love that the burger is both sweet and savory. The way it melts in your mouth, thanks to the caramelized onions, is unique to this specific burger. These onions are without a doubt the most flavorful and intriguing ingredient in the Charburger.

The burger itself is of regular quality. Cooked to about medium-well while maintaining most flavor, it is a higher standard than your classic fast food restaurant, but of a lower standard than a higher quality burger.

That said, it works together with the rest of the ingredients to form a complete burger making it well worth it. It also comes with a drink and fries, so that’s always a benefit.

This installment of Nice Buns originally appeared in our Nov. 5 print issue of La Voz.

Faculty art show brings thought-provoking pieces to the Euphrat Museum

The De Anza & Foothill College Art Faculty Show reception brought artists, students and community members together for a night where the artists talked about their work and received recognition.

The show aims to highlight the work of the faculty from both campuses.

Many types of artwork were represented, from Julie Hughes’ acrylic installation to Moto Ohtake’s stainless steel creations.

Julie Hughes discussed her acrylic pours on mylar, entitled Nocturne.

“All of my work has to do with the transcendence of nature,” Hughes said. “With this particular arrangement I was thinking of nebulae, which are typically very bright and colorful in the center and they feather out into the dark space. But I also want this to be a lot of things for people, so I don’t want people to think it’s just one possibility.”

Hughes also said this piece was inspired by the Carl Sagan quote, “we are the stuff of stars.”

In an entirely different art form, Moto Ohtake’s Untitled #1, a kinetic and dynamic sculpture, encapsulates his vision of combining nature and industry. For this piece he repurposed elements from other sculptures.

“I’ve been making sculptures for the last 35 years or so. My original idea was to create some form and structure that you could find in microscopic nature, not seen by the naked eye.”

The piece includes a rock for stabilization, but is also part of the meaning behind the piece.

“The rock symbolizes nature, technology and our existence in the universe. It’s a juxtaposition of man and nature,” Ohtake said.

Other encapsulating pieces included Alyssa Van Zandt’s bronze and silver lunch bag and milk carton and Leslie Louden’s photograph from her mountain ESS series.

The exhibit will be up until Dec. 6 in the Euphrat Museum of Art, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, and it’s certainly not a show to miss.

Pittsburgh shooting an attack on entire Jewish community

The disturbing hate crime that occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 27 was due to one thing: antisemitism. As we break down that word into ‘against’ and ‘Jewish’, one can see that this shooting was not just an assault on one synagogue but an attack on the entire Jewish community. These eleven people were killed simply for being Jewish.

As I walked into my synagogue, Congregation Sinai of San Jose, on Sunday morning to teach my religious school class, I was grateful to see a San Jose Police Department cruiser sitting in the corner of our small parking lot. I knew that officer was there for our safety. At least we were safe.

For the first hour of religious school, I have ten sixth graders. We had a solemn discussion about what had happened and the safety of the Jewish community. I wanted to make sure they knew they were both safe but also part of a religion that some people don’t like.

Over half of my ten- and eleven-year-old students have experienced antisemitism firsthand, when their Jewish day school in Los Gatos was evacuated last year after a bomb threat. It was one of over 2,000 bomb threats made to Jewish community centers, synagogues, and schools last year alone, according to Reuters.

Vigil for Victims

I feel both fortunate to be safe and devastated for the greater Jewish community. I myself attended synagogue on Saturday morning, at which there was a B’nei Mitzvah, the ceremony of a child becoming a Jewish adult. At Tree of Life, there was a circumcision ceremony for a gay couple’s twin children. Shabbat, or the Sabbath, is our one day a week that everyone comes together to pray, and the fact that Tree of Life was attacked at its most vulnerable is an excruciatingly painful realization.

This pain is felt all over. My friends around the country and the world are grieving. On Monday night, I went to a vigil at San Jose State, hosted by the Jewish organization Hillel of Silicon Valley, which serves the students of the South Bay colleges. Hillel’s executive director Sarita Bronstein’s speech highlighted the importance of being together as a community.

“Events such as this one leave us feeling alone and scared,” she said. “This is why it is very powerful to join together in solidarity to remember the victims of this tragedy. We gain strength together.”

18-year-old SJSU business administration student Ronnie Baruch also said the vigil helped her.

“I’m heartbroken,” said Baruch. “After this vigil, I definitely feel better, surrounded and protected, but I’m still heartbroken and in shock about it.”

It’s not just here. Sentiments are being heard all over the country. Kim Robins, 19, is a political science and physics major at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She’s feeling the pain that we are all feeling as members of our religion.

“I think it’s really important for people to understand that the entire institutionalized Jewish community feels deep hurt, anguish and fear about this,” Robins wrote in a message to La Voz. “It was an attack on every single one of us and our schools, synagogues and institutions.”

Unfortunately, the fear still exists. Robins continued, “Even if we don’t have direct connections to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, we all have this deep and terrifying sense that it could have happened at any of our institutions.”

And we are, and it was. To it, we are not responding by backing down, but by coming back stronger than ever.

Strength and Respect

In Judaism, we wear a headcovering when we’re praying. Some, including myself, wear it all the time, or just sometimes. This is called a kippah (kee’-pah).

In the past, I have not generally worn a kippah in public, honestly out of fear of judgement. As I’ve grown, I’ve gotten past this fear, and while I am certainly somewhat fearful of consequences of wearing it in public, I put it on after I woke up Sunday and have been wearing it since, whether in public or private. It might not mean much to others, but to me, and to many Jews, it symbolizes our Judaism in a profound way.

Ben Brotman is a 19-year-old electrical engineering major at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. When he travelled to Greece to study abroad for a year, he stopped wearing his kippah because he felt it would subject him to religious persecution. On Monday, back in the United States, he put that kippah back on.

“I thought long and hard about how to address this tragedy,” Brotman wrote in a Facebook post Monday afternoon, “and I realized that the only proper way was to show greater pride and support in my religion and my community. I wear this kippah as a sign of respect, solidarity, strength, and reverence.”

Sometimes, standing together is the best way to fight against intolerance.

“We as Jews are incomprehensibly strong when we show support for one another,” Brotman wrote.

When I first heard the news about the shooting on Saturday morning, I was feeling sad, confused, scared, and especially angry that someone would kill people in their house of worship. Whether it be Muslims, Christians, Jews or members of another religion, no one deserves to be attacked because of their faith.

Solidarity in the Face of Hatred

Now, as we’ve come together as a Jewish community, all I feel is love. Love for those who need it the most, love for those families who lost someone, and love for my friends who are hurting. It is this love that will get us through this grieving process.

Antisemitism is not a new problem nor is it something that will disappear overnight. Over time, our entire community, small as it is, will show our strength. We will take action to prevent this from happening again, and we will continue to work together for a more peaceful United States and world.

A large community vigil was held in front of San Jose City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Susan Ellenberg, a local school board member, candidate for office and Jew, ended her speech with the emotions and thoughts we are all feeling and thinking.

“I’m scared of a lot of things,” Ellenberg said. “But I won’t be scared to be Jewish.”


Run, Hide, Defend training session sees poor turnout

The second of two run, hide, defend safety training courses had an underwhelming turnout on Wednesday, Oct. 24, despite the importance of the education being provided.

The seminar, led by De Anza assistant police chief Danny Acosta and officer James Thurber, was an instructional course on what options were available for students if they encounter an assailant on campus. Only three people attended, a number which includes two La Voz reporters. Acosta said oftentimes, people don’t show up unless there was a recent shooting.

“It’s sad that students attend only after a shooting, because that’s when reality sets in the mind and it comes to the forefront,” said Acosta after the meeting. “It’s unfortunate that that’s when we have to do it.”

Advertisement for the event was minimal, but 27-year-old education major Ceidy Ocegueda found out about the event on a campus-related Facebook page.

“I’m here to learn strategies for what to do as opposed to shutting down during an incident,” Ocegueda said. “I want to be able to prepare mentally.”

Information that was covered included what to do in the case of an active shooter, the difference between a shelter-in-place and lockdown notification, and how to work together to defend oneself against an attacker. With shootings of all kinds happening so often, the latest having happened just today in Kentucky, run, hide, defend training is critical at a school and in many other situations.

Despite the low turnout, Officer Thurber said he would continue to provide the education every quarter at both campuses, while Acosta said he would push for it.

More information on run, hide, defend can be found in this video.

DASB approves major expenditure

DASB senate approved a $5,000 expenditure for Umoja, a college success program for African-American students, at their Wednesday, Oct. 3 meeting.

Following a 55-minute presentation by student representatives from Umoja, senate members voted 12-0 with four abstentions to approve the funds for students to attend their Southern California conference.

The approval consumed over 25 percent of the Special Allocations Fund allotted for the upcoming year, leaving only $13,275 remaining for the rest of the academic year.

With the money they received, Umoja Program Counselor and Coordinator Kassie Phillips said at the meeting that about seven to eight students would be able to attend the conference.

Umoja’s conference funding has been approved every year since 2016, according to DASB Fund 41 documents.

The senate voted to endorse John Cordes in his run for a Sunnyvale City Council seat over Mason Fong, who is also running.

An elections committee was also formed. The committee is responsible for coordinating the upcoming midterm elections.

The meeting was the first with Carolyn Nguyen as DASB President. Nguyen stepped into the role after former president Khaled Haq was removed from office prior to the start of fall quarter, according to comments made by Nguyen. With her filling the president vacancy, Raynard Darmadi was confirmed to fill her previous role as Executive Vice President.

A Victim's Perspective on Sexual Assault

When I was fifteen, I was sexually assaulted. I do not blame myself. I do not blame the youth group organization in which it took place.

I blame the assaulter.

He was someone in a position of power and someone I trusted as a friend. Inevitably, he turned out to be someone whose memory still sickens me.

In the nearly four years that have passed since this incident, I have recovered from the emotional grief it caused me. Although it will always remain in my past, I have moved forward. I am grateful to have had closure.

I do know the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not been substantiated, and I believe it is unlikely they ever will be. That is not the point.

The point is until victims see their assaulters reap the consequences of their actions, we will never have closure.

I was lucky. Once I garnered the nerve to report my assault, the investigation was swift, extensive, legal and fruitful. I was assured my assaulter would never be allowed to work for the youth group again and a police department detective would investigate further. But I know many victims are not as fortunate.

So long as our society and those in positions of power continue to arbitrarily determine allegations of sexual assault or harassment warrants, victim-shaming and mediocre investigations, those who really need closure will never get it.

So long as the future Brett Kavanaughs believe they can get away with these deplorable and illegal acts, we will never be able to move forward together. We must fight against this mindset, which is something we can only do together.

To those who have their stories to tell and to those who are fearful of speaking up, I implore you to do so. As cliché as it may be, together we have the power to enact change. As a victim, I know it is hard to come out with your truths. Take a leap of faith, and know you are helping our society – men, women and everyone else alike – move closer to a future without the next Brett Kavanaugh.

Former DASB President removed from office, details unknown

Editor-in-Chief Christian Trujano also contributed to this article.

Former DASB senate President Khaled Haq was removed from his position three weeks before the start of the quarter according to an interview with former vice president, and now acting president, Carolyn Nguyen with La Voz after the first senate meeting on Oct. 3.

The details as to why he was removed are still not clear as several members from the senate did not want to comment on the topic.

Haq has also reached out to La Voz with a contradictory email giving his official statement for his departure: “On Sept. 10 (09/10/18) I stepped down from my position as DASB Senate President in order to allocate more time towards my personal life. I am currently dedicated towards improving my academic performance and bolstering my college applications. For the time being, Vice President, Carolyn Nguyen is now acting President. I am fully confident in her ability to lead the body and represent the students of De Anza College. Although largely undecided, I hope to one day rejoin the senate and continue to make a difference for students on campus.”

During the spring quarter, Haq faced allegations near the end which La Voz reported on, where senator Brandi Madison, 47, environmental science, accused Haq and other senators for misuse of the senate Facebook chat, sharing inappropriate comments.

De Anza holds first Welcome Day event

Staff Reporter Brenna White also contributed to this article.

On Friday Sept. 21, De Anza College kicked off the coming Fall Quarter with its first ever Welcome Day,  according to the school’s official website.

With an estimated 1,000  students attending, the inaugural event had a very successful turn out according to Marisa Spatafore, Associate Vice President of Communications and External Relations. 

The event comprised of various activities and forms of entertainment for incoming students such as campus tours, informational booths, food, and live entertainment. Each department of the college offered specific events for students hoping for more intimate previews of their desired areas of studies. Nursing students could observe care for artificial patients, while film majors could screen the latest student films.

K.D. Le, Counselor and Humanities instructor, said “It is kind of an informal setting to visit different booths with games and information. They [students] get to talk to faculty and staff who are working in those programs.”

In addition, this event allowed students the opportunity to meet their professors, find classroom locations, and learn about the programs and services offered on campus. Organizers hoped that it would ease the transition for incoming students coming directly from a high school setting.

“We are getting into that business to make students more comfortable and connected from the start,” said Mary Sullivan, Health Education and Wellness Director.

According to De Anza College’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning, first time college students made up the second largest demographic for enrolled students in the Fall 2016.

Johanna Borden, 18, Undeclared, said, “Without [Welcome Day], I wouldn’t know where my classes were … It’s really nice to come and see old friends and meet new people. I just want to hopefully become more stable in a college setting because I’m straight out of high school. I want to become more educated on what college life is like.”

With the Fall quarter underway, Welcome Day hopefully gave new students the self-assurance the college hoped for and it has been confirmed by faculty that the event will return next year.